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Recipes from theDreams of Imma Tataranni

Oven-Baked Lamb and Potatoes

Written by Linda SarrisPhotos by Pietro Motisi

Seasons 3 coming Spring 2023!
EDITOR'S NOTE: When we reached out to Chef Linda Sarris about a recipe series based on Matera's own Deputy Prosecutor Imma Tataranni, she immediately said, "Yes! And would you believe I just returned from a trip to Matera in Basilicata?" We think you'll agree, Linda's first-hand knowledge of the food, people and culture of Matera deliciously inform these Imma Tataranni inspired recipes!

Agnello alla Lucana

Oven-Baked Lamb and Potatoes

Pair this recipe with:

Imma recounts a fabulous, food filled dream. Imma Tataranni now streaming on MHz Choice.


Whether we’re right in the middle of a big meal or thinking of the next dish we want to cook up, food plays a central role in conversations all over Italy, and most likely in your families as well. Agnello al forno, a roasted lamb recipe, is mentioned in the dreams of Imma Tatarrani that she describes to Alessandro Vitali in season 1, episode 6.

The region of Basilicata in southern Italy, where our Imma Tataranni program is based, was known by the name Lucania during the years 1932 through 1947. You’ll be able to recognize recipes from this region will often be described “alla Lucana”, meaning that they are going to be cooked in the style of this area. 

We are using a fresh white breadcrumb known in Italy as “mòllica” which comes from the center of the bread and not the outer crust. Feel free to use any breadcrumbs you can get your hands on or omit this step completely to make a gluten-free Celiac-friendly version and it will be just as tasty.

Test out our comforting southern Italian Agnello alla Lucana recipe this winter while you catch up on the full first season of Imma Tataranni – Sostituto procuratore on MHz.

IMMA KITCHEN LAMB 9 872x1540 1
Agnello alla Lucana

Serves 4
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8 lamb chops and ribs, two pieces per person
2 small red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped/sliced
high-quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. white wine
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 c. breadcrumbs
sea salt
black pepper
fresh rosemary

In a mixing bowl or roasting pan, marinate the lamb pieces for at least 30 minutes. Toss the lamb with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and set aside. This process can be prepped the night before and left covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. 

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Line a roasting pan with parchment paper and start with the pieces of potatoes as a base. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Nestle the sliced onions, marinated lamb, garlic and additional fresh rosemary sprigs on top. Drizzle with the 1/2 cup of white wine and an additional dose of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of everything and cover tightly with aluminum foil. 

Roast the lamb for 30 minutes covered with the foil. Then, uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes to brown the top. The marinated lamb will slowly cook and release juices to cook the potatoes and onions all the way through and create it’s own juices that will become the sauce. 

Remove from the oven and check the doneness of the meat. Depending on the size of the pieces, it might need additional time in the oven, especially if you substituted a larger cut of lamb like a boneless leg or lamb shank. The breadcrumbs will make a nice crust on top. Serve right away with a bit of the pan juices. 

Recipes from the Dreams of Imma Tataranni

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About the Chef
Linda Sarris is a food/wine travel consultant and private chef based in Palermo, Sicily. From her sun-lit kitchen studio above the 1,000 year-old Ballarò food market, Linda works as a freelance writer, social media manager, and culinary communications consultant while still traveling regularly for private chef work with clients in the fashion and music industries. Under her brand, @thecheekychef, she is self-publishing a Sicilian food and wine ‘zine and curates a series of Mediterranean culinary/lifestyle retreats and travel experiences. Her first book will be published in 2022 with Hachette Book Group.